In order to receive the mobile-friendly badge, a Web site must satisfy four main criteria, according to the blog post: it must avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash; use text that is readable without zooming; size content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom; and place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped (this last one is a special boon to all those of us suffering through the heartbreak of “fat finger syndrome”).
Google is planning to introduce the new mobile-friendly badge into search results over the next couple of weeks, and may even begin including the designation in its search rank signal for users searching with mobile devices. To find out if a page would be considered mobile-friendly, developers and publishers can simply enter the URL on a test page created by Google, available here. Google also updated is Webmasters Mobile Guide to include guidelines on making sites more mobile-friendly.
Google’s Mobile Search Team wrote: “We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience… We hope to see many more mobile-friendly websites in the future.”
Search results for mobile already vary considerably from desktop search results, according to a recent study by Searchmetrics, which analyzed ten thousand keyword searches and found that 36% of Web destination URLs shown in the top 30 mobile search results differed from the same search conducted on a desktop or laptop. In addition, 25% came from different hosts and 23% came from different domains altogether.